Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Not So Itsy Bitsy Spider

     If you have a garden you probably have spiders.  Unfortunately, that’s just the way it is and I have yet to meet someone who isn’t slightly bothered by a spider.  I love to walk through the garden in the early morning when the air is crisp and the area undisturbed by activity, and that is when I usually walk face-first into a spider web.  I flail my arms at the invisible strands, run my fingers through my hair hoping not to find something or walk in a circle wondering if the owner of that web is in the middle of my back where I cannot see it.  But that is one of the inevitable facts you have to deal with when you love to garden. 

     A few weeks ago I walked past our large, country kitchen window, which faces the rising sun, and came to a screeching halt.  Stretched from roof overhang to hydrangea bush to fence post was a huge web and in the center of the web was a ginormous writing spider.  I’m not exaggerating, she was enormous.  When she would cocoon something large, I would look to see if one of my cats was missing…ok, that’s an exaggeration, but she was really big.  It took a couple weeks to get use to her being there and we even named her, Askmissdee.    My son had asked me how long writing spiders lived and I told him to ‘Ask Miss D’, a biology teacher at the high school, he thought I was telling him the name of the spider….a typical, confusing conversation with a teenager.  We were quite fascinated by the spider.  She was always busy wrapping a meal or mending her web or creating the tell-tale zigzag, which we learned, is used to attract prey.  When something became caught in her web, she went to it with surprising speed, injecting it with her venom, and then biding her time till paralysis set in, before wrapping her next meal.
      About a week ago I passed the windows and came to a screeching halt.  Askmissdee was gone.  I went out and checked the hydrangea bush to see if she had fallen (as if I was going to pick her up and put her back), but no sign of her.  Perhaps she moved on to better hunting grounds or a passing bird could not resist her.  I’m not going to say I was fond of the spider, but when I walk through my garden in the morning, I prefer to know where she is.

1 comment:

  1. My husband calls those 'banana' spiders.

    I usually have to get him to relocate them for me. They like to set up web in my hydgrangea as well. I can't get around it without bothering the spider, hence the relocation with a broom. I never want to kill them even if they freak me out. But I won't be afraid to piss off the spider in my own garden! lol

    They usually come out in July, but this year it seems like they came out later here on the coast.